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Anne Spalter

The Arts

Digital artist Anne Spalter discusses NFTs in BMAC online talk

The discussion takes place on Wednesday, May 12, at 7 p.m. Admission is free; to register, visit brattleboromuseum.org. For more about Spalter, visit annespalter.com.

BRATTLEBORO—NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the art world by storm.

In February, collectors and speculators spent more than $200 million on NFT-based artwork, memes, and GIFs, and that was before digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold a piece at famed auction house Christie’s on March 11 for $69 million — the third-highest price ever fetched by a living artist.

But what exactly are NFTs, why are they commanding such astronomical prices, and what effect are they having on the broader art world?

Digital artist and scholar Anne Spalter will answer these questions and more in a Zoom presentation hosted by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC).

“New art media offer new opportunities for artistic expression,” Spalter said in a news release. “The invention of canvas led to portable paintings. The invention of paint in tubes led the Impressionists to work outdoors.”

“Today, a novel technology called the blockchain has made it possible for artists to create digital works (NFTs) that are purchased with cryptocurrencies and hosted potentially forever online,” she continued. “The economic and social environments of this new world are contributing to new ways of making, sharing, and collecting art.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #611 (Wednesday, May 5, 2021). This story appeared on page B2.

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